Roofing and Decorating Tips

by Claron Waltz
(Montana)

Roofing and decorating tips; Roofs that are thatched or covered with shingles are steeply pitched so the rain runs off quickly. With clay and slate roofs, pitches are shallower, while with sheet materials, such as corrugated iron, the angle is even flatter.


Flat roofs were traditionally made of lead or zinc, and, lately, of asphalt or bitumen roofing felt. When existing finishes fail, replacing them is not necessarily the best or the only solution. If you have a handsome old slate or tiled roof with an attractive patina, it is possible to bond it together underneath, using a flexible plastic material that holds the tiles or slates safely together in a waterproof homogeneous whole. However, never use the type of bonding that is applied to the top of the roof - it will mask the patterning of the tiles or slates, completely destroying their aesthetic qualities, and cannot be removed. If it is impossible to rescue the roof, try to match up the existing finish with salvaged materials.

More roofing and decorating tips. You may be able to reuse some of the old slates or tiles; if so, group them together on the most visible elevation and use the replacements on the inner slopes of the valleys and other less prominent positions. Brush the new slates or tiles with a slurry of manure, sour milk or liquid plant food; within six months the active organisms will take over and soften the contrast be-tween the old and new materials. Soot rubbed on will help to darken them down.

Lead is expensive and could be replaced by zinc, copper or aluminium, although none of them will look quite right; if you have to use any of these materials, try to confine them to the parts of the roof which can't be seen. Replacement shingles - usually Canadian cedar or the thicker Western red cedar type - are readily available. Repairing corrugated metal roofs is a straightforward matter of replacing worn-out sheets with new ones. If you are reroofing the entire building, consider using metal that has been enamelled, but avoid the textured type, which will spoil the look of your house. More Roofing and decorating tips.

Gutters and Downpipes

Traditionally, gutters and downpipes (downspouts) were painted black, and it's a treatment that works well. But when there is
a maze of pipes, attention can be diverted away by painting them a softer version of the wall coloring if the building is unpainted; if it has been, match the paint color exactly. When replacing gutters and downpipes, try to rationalize the pipework itself: aim for fewer pipes and arrange them to run down at the corners of the building or, on detached and semi-detached houses, they should be grouped on a side wall.

Decorative Details

Decorated ridges are often an attractive feature of old buildings, and the ornamented tiles with their piercings and fretted profiles are still available from salvage companies; so, too, are elaborately ornamented finial tiles used at the ends of ridges and at junctions of the roof and handsome old chimney pots that look like giant chess pieces. On a house with white walls, curved barge-boards decorating the gables can match the front door - as long as that is a quiet or dark tone. Against brick, stone or colored walls, barge-boarding looks better painted to match the windows and other woodwork. Thanks for reading this page on roofing and decorating tips

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